I often discover areas of doubt lurking upon my canvas of faith. I find little things here and there where I have limited God. So much is possible through faith. In fact it would be more accurate to state that impossible is nothing - if we believe. I know about the miracles, signs and wonders in the Bible. I believe that all of it happened but maybe sometimes I doubt that all of it still happens today. A few weeks ago we were in Myanmar on a mission trip and a mother asked us to pray for her child who had a headache. Someone from our team shared later that his first impulse was to reach for the Paracetamol in his backpack. He stopped when felt the conviction that both the child and her mother had more faith than he did. In his mind, there was a limitation on God as a capable healer. That same day in Myanmar, a pastor's wife was sharing with us about two new buildings under construction. She had dreamt about those buildings and sketched the structures from the memory the next morning. This is a lady with no knowledge or training in architecture or construction. Simple as they were and constructed mostly with wood, the structures were not only good and sound but had even adeptly incorporated natural ventilation principles. Having been brought up in family business of building and construction, I could appreciate that. As I admired the structure and listened to her testimony, I found myself doubting it was at all possible. This time, I was limiting God. Didn't I know that the Holy Spirit reveals secrets and that He can tell us how to do the things we wouldn't know otherwise? Don't we all know that Noah was led to build a seaworthy Ark though he had no seafaring experience? In Exodus 31:2-5 we read that God called Bezalel and put His Spirit upon him, saying, "I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship." It would normally take someone a lifetime to apprentice in and master working with even one precious craft. Here, a man was gifted by the Spirit with complete know-how to work with all prized jewels, all precious metals and wood in all manner. It is also interesting to note a repeat of this in Exodus 36:1-2 where it says: And Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whom the LORD has put wisdom and understanding, to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, shall do according to all that the LORD has commanded. The Hebrew word used here for "know" is "Yada" (Strong's H3045). I think we take that word for granted. We use the word "know" so often that we have forgotten the depth of its implication. I don t think it is any accident that the Bible uses this same "yada" for when Adam "knew" Eve (Genesis 4:1, 25) or when Cain "knew" his wife (Genesis 4:17). It wasn't simply a euphemism. I believe everything in the Bible is deliberate and perhaps here we are to understand the depth and intimacy of knowing. It is this same "yada" used in Jeremiah 24:7 - Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart. Knowing God truly is to know Him in all intimacy and with all our heart. When we know God intimately, we change. We become more and more like Jesus. We are told to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1) but we cannot copy something that we do not have a clear picture of. The only way we can be more like Christ is to see Him better and for that we just have to get closer to Him. We want to know Him so well that it can be likened to the intimacy of the bedchamber. The good news is that when we seek to get closer to Him, He comes closer to us also (James 4:8). As we draw nearer, the picture of glory becomes clearer and clearer and thus we become transformed into the same image of Christ that we see, from glory to glory by the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18). I began with a notion of doubt but that has led me to search scripture and what I found was intimacy. I would know when I know Him. I would know then that it isn't about whether He can but rather that He would.
Hello old friend. I haven't seen you since I've returned and was wondering if you were ministering somewhere deeply in a third world country with no access to WIFI. I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I signed in and found your post.
It is good to hear from you, especially with such an inspired message. I hear your message loud and clear. It's going to be a wonderful day when these bodies we occupy are redeemed and we see Him as He is for then we shall be like Him. Never again even the smallest iota of a doubt.
Till then, our flesh will continue to battle with our spirit sometimes stealing blessings which should have been. As you so adequately said, the closer we come to Him the further we remove ourselves from doubt. The closer we come to Him, the more we put to death the ability of the natural in placing limitations on what God can do through us.
Blessings from NC from a brother in Christ,
As I read your blog, I thought of an old hymn from my girlhood called Deeper, Deeper:
[quote]Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus
Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
O deeper yet, I pray,
And higher every day,
And wiser, blessed Lord,
In Thy precious, holy Word.
Deeper, deeper, blessed Holy Spirit,
Take me deeper still,
Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus,
And His perfect will.
Deeper, deeper! Though it cost hard trials,
Deeper let me go!
Rooted in the holy love of Jesus,
Let me fruitful grow.
Deeper, higher, every day in Jesus,
Till all conflict past,
Finds me conqueror, and in His own image
Perfected at last.
Deeper, deeper in the faith of Jesus,
Holy faith and true;
In His power and soul exulting wisdom
Let me peace pursue. [/quote]
May we go further in and further up!
What a truly wonderful blog to wake up to (5am). I wanted to 'quote' a particular passage that had great meaning for me but then I found I would have quoted most of your blog back to you! God bless you abundantly, Doulos.
Some very good thoughts, Doulos! I thank you for sharing and may God bless your work in His name...
[q]The good news is that when we seek to get closer to Him, He comes closer to us also (James 4:8). As we draw nearer, the picture of glory becomes clearer and clearer and thus we become transformed into the same image of Christ that we see, from glory to glory by the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).[/q]
Thank you for this reminder, your words are always encouraging. God Bless you , your blogs are always a delight to read and food for the growing spirit.